Protecting Public Access To Alaska’s Fishing Streams: HB144 Moves Out of Committee

Today Representative Les Gara’s legislation to ensure future public access to Alaska’s fishing streams, House Bill 144, moved from the Senate Resources Committee. The bill passed the House last year with a vote of 38 Yeas, and tonight passed the Senate Resources Committee.

“We hope the next step is a vote on the Senate Floor, and believe the bill has the support to pass,” said Rep. Les Gara. House Bill 144 will inexpensively promote access to important fishing streams by encouraging voluntary land trades or purchases with willing landowners.

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Democrats Call on Governor to Make Stronger Commitment to Education

Keeping up with inflation allows schools to focus on where to improve, not where to cut

JUNEAU – Today, House Democrats called on the governor to join them in an effort to prevent Alaska’s school districts from having to make more cuts in the classroom due to inflation. The legislators sent a letter to the governor earlier today requesting that he be open to meeting school district needs by increasing the per-student allocation enough to cover the costs of inflation.

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Gara Bill Stops Bogus Bank Foreclosures

(JUNEAU) – Today Rep. Les Gara filed legislation to stop one of the most abusive bank practices since the 2007 recession. “Banks have been taking homes from people who are current on their payments. It’s a national dilemma. It’s time to stop this abuse,” said Gara.

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Rep. Gara: Parnell Pumps Money Into All Agencies – Except Education

Proposed budget flat funds education, covers inflation increases for all other agencies

This year Governor Sean Parnell proposes to fund K-12 students at the same level as they were funded two years ago, yet his budget includes increases for every other state agency other than education.

“Freezing school funding to 2010 levels, without recognizing costs have gone up with inflation, translates into a major education cut. The proof’s in the pudding. It is causing schools across the state to plan for layoffs and the end of courses and summer school. The bottom line is that the Governor has granted state employees and bureaucrats inflation increases – just not kids,” said Rep. Les Gara.

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Democrats Push for Hearing on Oil Tax Credit Accountability

“Alaskans need to know what we got for our four billion dollar North Slope investment”

JUNEAU – Today, House Democratic Whip Berta Gardner (D-Anchorage) called for a hearing on two bills designed to provide Alaskans more information on the State’s North Slope investments. The bills will help Alaskans know if our massive investments are meeting our twin goals of more oil in the pipeline and more jobs for Alaskans. Recent testimony puts the state’s investment at over $4 billion over the last five years.

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Rep. Gara to State: Permit Cannot Ignore Destruction of Salmon Stream

Gara calls on state to scrap flawed ruling that salmon and trout stream can be “rebuilt”

Today, Representative Les Gara called on the Alaska Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to reverse its ruling that concluded the proposed Chuitna coal project is consistent with the state’s “Unsuitable Lands” law.

“Their proposal states they will completely remove at least 11 miles of wild salmon spawning and rearing habitat for a period of 25 years; digging down at least 300 feet below the streambed, thereby destroying not only the streambed but also the underlying functions that support a salmon stream and permanently impacting the water quality for all downstream reaches of the Chuitna,” said Rep. Gara, an avid fisherman and fishing writer.

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